Williams is looking to test Black Caviar in Orr Stakes

By: Mark Mazzaglia
February 9th, 2012

Top jockey Craig Williams is hoping for a contest in the Orr Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday when he takes on Black Caviar with Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed.

Williams virtually conceded that he would be one of the eight fighting it out for second as Black Caviar marched on her way to eighteen straight victories in the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet C.F. Orr Stakes.

The prolific Group 1 winning jockey is among a large group of riders who have been left lamenting in her wake and are too familiar with sight of Black Caviar’s huge frame careering away from them.

“How many times have I seen her backside? Too many,” Williams said.

“I’m in awe of her. I’ve been riding a Group 1 horse and been under the stick and Luke (Nolen) just has her in his hands and she just accelerates.

“For her to do that to Group 1 horses, you can only be in awe of her.”

Williams is happy with the progress of Southern Speed and is sure she is classy enough to make it a contest with the record breaking mare.

Last year’s Caulfield Cup winner showed she has come back in fine form with a first up win in the Listed $100,000 Barton Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Australia Day.

“I’m really happy with where Southern Speed is and she loves Caulfield,” Williams said.

“She has come back really well and (trainer) Leon (Macdonald) is very happy with her. I’m looking forward to going against Black Caviar over seven furlongs.”

The Robbie Griffiths trained Danzylum is certain to set up a good tempo and Williams is likely to find himself midfield on Southern Speed while Luke Nolen will be able to slot Black Caviar virtually in anywhere he wishes.

Williams will no doubt try to pressure Black Caviar in the straight and make sure the 1400m is a real test.

Stable foreman for Griffiths, Reid Balfour confirmed the tactics to be adopted by Danzylum and Nicholas Hall and pointed out that the eight year old has won over 1400m at Caulfield on three occasions in near record time.

”He just loves going to Caulfield over the 1400 metres and even more than that, when the track is firm, even rock-hard, he jumps and runs at pretty much his top the whole way,” Balfour said.

”We’re hoping he might be able to run the rest of them off their legs, anyway,” he added.

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